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Espresso Business Briefing anyone?

Morgan McKinley recently hosted the latest in their series of Espresso Business Briefings in Dublin on the topic of ‘Leveraging the Power of your Network’ – which attracted over 40 senior sales and practice professionals from the legal, accounting, banking and wider professional services sector (please see photos from event here).

Morgan McKinley recently hosted the latest in their series of Espresso Business Briefings in Dublin on the topic of ‘Leveraging the Power of your Network’ – which attracted over 40 senior sales and practice professionals from the legal, accounting, banking and wider professional services sector (please see photos from event here).

The speaker for this briefing was Andy Lopata, who the Financial Times referred to as one of Europe’s leading business networking strategists and author of three books on networking as well as a blogger for the Huffington Post. His third and most recent book, ‘Recommended: How to Sell Through Networking and Referrals,’ reached number one in the business charts at WHSmith Travel Shops.

The talk navigated the audience from how they currently generate referrals for their business through to best practice on how to develop the foundation of a strong referrals strategy. Andy spoke of it as being the most cost effective way of generating new business and retention is always higher once it has been referred.

In defining what a referral is not (i.e. tip, lead or recommendation) Andy outlined the importance of building your network and educating them on the quality of the introduction that you want, being clear about who you want to meet and being very transparent about what you are offering.

The three ingredients to a mutually beneficial referral relationship are, trust between two parties, an understanding of what each other offers as a service/business and that you can identify opportunities to refer the other to in a specific and focused way that retains both parties credibility. A true referral champion is one who can talk about your business and what you offer to a relevant audience.

There is a referral etiquette that should be adhered to which includes, when is the best time to approach a client that is connected to someone you wish to be referred to?

According to Andy one of the biggest lost opportunities to refer happens internally when companies do not invest enough time in developing an incentivised cross referral strategy within their own firms/businesses.

Ultimately people will refer people they know, like and trust and it is imperative that businesses encourage employees to go out and build their network, invest time in developing relationships and ensure that their relationship is a two way street.

The most effective first step to developing your referrals strategy is to identify five champions and build a strategy to invest in them to enable you to grow your business.

In summarising, Andy said if you want a successful business for a year grow weeds, if you want a successful business for ten years grow trees and if you want to build a successful business for life build people.

The talk ended with a Question & Answer session and the lucky winners on the morning won one of Andy Lopata’s latest books – “…and Death came third!” and “Recommended: How to Sell Through Networking and Referrals” were:

Vic Angley – PwC

Siobhan Doyle - Danske Bank

Darragh Cronin - Savills

Niall Hayes – Vodafone

  • Jul 08, 2013
  • Culture
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Anna Maher

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